“We all agree, United are better than England,” is the chant that boomed around Villa Park a few weeks ago, after Wayne Rooney had been blamed by the press for England’s defeat to Russia. “You can stick your fuckin England up your arse,” was to follow. The idea that United fans put their club before their country, some to the complete exclusion of England, is one that bemuses many. The idea that English fans of football could chant “Argentina!” and travel to away games with a Portuguese flag seems entirely incomprehensible to some.
Gary Neville, who is United through and through, has today referred to the United > England topic. Neville has been out with injury since March, and his constant set backs have sparked speculation over whether our captain will ever return. He has today said that he hasn’t given a thought to winning back his England place, as getting fit for United is his priority. Only nine players in the history of English football have more caps for the country than Neville, and has played at least once a year for England for the past thirteen years, a feat only bettered by Billy Wright (who played for England in the 1940’s and 50s), and goalkeepers Seaman and Shilton.
“Getting back into the England squad is not something that I think about,” Neville said. “I have to get back into the United side and that’s difficult enough. Playing for United has always been the most important thing for me and remains so. If England recognition comes, that’s a bonus – but it’s not something that I think about too much. I’ve always considered it an extension to playing for United.”
Good on you Nev! Spoken like a proper red.